The high school’s Class of 2016 graduated with their proud families, friends, administrators, members of the board of education and teachers applauding their hard work and celebrating their significant milestone. The beautiful ceremony, held on the back field of the school, featured several motivational speeches delivered to the graduating class as they prepare to close one chapter of their lives and begin another.
Following a rendition of the national anthem by senior chorus members, Principal Raymond Williams spoke about the importance of constant learning. Class of 2016 salutatorian Rujuta Desai said it is possible to fight mediocrity with the right mindset. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carl Bonuso said that graduation is a celebration of how students’ intellects, minds and hearts have grown. Board of Education President Phil Heckler quoted author C.S. Lewis in saying “Isn’t it funny how day by day, nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different,” in his speech.
Nassau County Legislator Rose Walker urged the graduates to always give a piece of themselves to others, since so many have done the same for them. Class of 2016 valedictorian Matthew Cimino — who was introduced by his German teacher Helena Lipska — spoke about the importance of family, friends and the pursuit of happiness.
The ceremony also served to recognize the high school Class of 1961 alumnus Robert Casale’s induction into the school’s Hall of Fame by the Class of 2016, in addition to three students who earned perfect attendance throughout all four years of high school: Ariella Ricca, Angad Saini and Winnie Shen.
Students’ names were then announced one by one, and applause and ovations were plentiful. Following the announcement of the complete list of names, the graduates turned their tassels from right to left, and proceeded to toss their caps high into the air.